[Guide] Timing Troop Movements

Discussion in 'General' started by cheesasaurus, Jul 22, 2008.

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  1. cheesasaurus

    cheesasaurus Still Going Strong

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    Originally, I was going to make a short guide to help out some tribesmates. But I've got a lot of time on my hands today.


    This is a detailed guide on how to time unit movements. This is not a guide for the uses of timing; making spreadsheets; arranging your windows; fast clicking; what kind of clock to use; cheating; or killing small animals.


    Before reading too far, ask yourself these things:
    If you answered no to any of those questions, you might have a bit of trouble following this guide.

    And now, without further delay, I give to you the cheesy timing guide!

    Timing Troop Movements

    Timing is a big part of Tribal Wars. Something that a lot of so-called 'experienced' players still seem to have trouble with. Therefore, I'm going to try and go into as much detail as possible here. Some things might seem painfully obvious, but please bear with me.

    • Contents
      1: the game clock
      2: calculating duration
      3: when to send your troops
      4: calculating when troops will return from an attack
      5: predicting attacks

    The Game Clock
    First of all, take a look at the bottom right of your screen. It'll look something like this, but without the bright green:

    [​IMG]

    The part I circled is the game clock, which displays the game time to the nearest second. If anyone mentions 'server time,' this is the time they're talking about. I believe it coincides with GMT+1.

    Now go to your rally point and send some of your units to a nearby village. Click on the command, and check out the details:

    [​IMG]

    Take a close look at the arrival time, and you will see some lighter-colored numbers behind the hours:minutes:seconds. Those numbers are the milliseconds of the arrival time. We now know that arrival times are much more precise than 'to the nearest second.'

    If you're going to time well, you have to understand the measures of time the server uses.
    There are 24 hours in one day.
    There are 60 minutes in one hour.
    There are 60 seconds in one minute.
    There are 1000 milliseconds in one second.

    So a time of 3 hours, 24 minutes, 18 seconds, and 871 milliseconds would be written like this:
    03:24:18.871

    Calculating Duration
    The goal of timing troop movements is to get your troops to arrive at some location at a certain time. To start off, there are 3 things you need to know:

    1) where they are going (destination)
    2) how long it takes them to get there (duration)
    3) the time you want them to arrive

    #1 and #3 are both things that a player can decide. #2, however, is generally not, and you will have to calculate this yourself if you want to be accurate.

    To figure the duration, you have to find:
    1) how fast your troops will move (speed)
    2) how far away the destination is (distance)

    The first part is easy; just look at the units section in the help page for the world you're playing:

    [​IMG]
    I'll use the stats in this picture for any examples I use.

    The part listed as unit "speed" is actually the time(in minutes) it takes for that unit to travel one field. Keep in mind that units travel at the speed of the slowest unit they're with. If you send support with a paladin, they will move at the speed of the paladin.

    You now have the speed, and need to get the distance.

    Take a look at your map. You'll see numbers to the left of and right below the close-up view.

    [​IMG]

    The numbers on the left are the y coordinates, and the numbers on the bottom are the x coordinates. Every village has a unique location, shown in the game as "(X|Y)". The village at the center of this map is located at 503|843.

    Now, I'll define a few things to make what I'm about to say a little easier to follow.

    Destination: the village you are sending the troops to.
    Origin: the village you are sending the troops from.
    Distance: the number of fields between the origin and the destination.
    Xo: the x coordinate of the origin village.
    Yo: the y coordinate of the origin village.
    X: the x coordinate of the destination village.
    Y: the y coordinate of the destination village.

    Here's the formula for finding the distance (taken from the Pythagorean Theorem)
    [​IMG]

    Say we want to find the distance from 503|843 to 502|844.
    Just put the numbers into the right spots, and then solve the expression. I use a calculator to get an approximate answer.

    [​IMG]

    So the distance is about 1.41421356 fields. Let's say I'm attacking with a scout ('speed' 9)

    To find the duration, multiply the 'speed' (9 minutes/field) by the distance (1.41421356 fields).

    (9 minutes/field) * (1.41421356 fields) = 12.7279220 minutes

    That's nice, but we want our time to read "hours:minutes:seconds.milliseconds". This means more math :icon_wink:

    We know there are 60 minutes in one hour, but the duration is only 12.7279220 minutes; quite a bit less than 60 minutes. So the number of hours is 00. We've now got a duration of 00:??:??.???, with 12.7279220 minutes left over.

    There are 12 whole minutes in 12.7279220 minutes, so put those into the minutes slot.
    We now have a duration of 00:12:??.???, with 0.7279220 minutes left over.

    We need to know the seconds next (60 seconds in one minute), so multiply the remaining minutes by 60 to get the number of seconds.
    0.7279220 * 60 = 43.67532
    that's 43 whole seconds for the seconds slot, giving us a duration of 00:12:43.???

    To find the milliseconds multiply the leftover seconds (0.67532) by 1000 (1000 milliseconds in one second, remember?), and you have the number of milliseconds.

    Well, we finally have it. The duration of a scout speed command from 503|843 to 502|844 is 00:12:43.675.

    Doing these calculations over and over can get to be a pain in the :lightcavalry: , so you may want to make a spreadsheet to do them for you. No, I'm not going to give you a premade one.

    When to send your troops
    Ideally, you'd just subtract the duration from the arrival time.

    There's still one more thing to take into consideration before we can know when to send the troops: lag.
    Every internet game has it; tribal wars is no exception. When you click the 'ok' button on the confirmation screen, your computer has to process that click, send the information across the internet to the server, and be processed by the server. This all takes time.

    The lag fluctuates and cannot be completely controlled by you, but there are things you can do to influence its stability. Try to keep your computer's workload low. Don't have a bunch of applications running at once.
    Minimize your use of network resources. Don't start downloading something right before you want to send a timed command.

    Before sending the troops, make a couple tests to predict the lag.
    Choose 2 villages, at least one of them yours. Figure out the duration between them, and send a few attacks. (When I do this, I click at the moment I see the second counter change.) Write down the times you send them and the times they actually arrive.

    Now calculate the times they should have ideally arrived (sending time + duration) and write these down.
    Subtract the ideal arrival times from the actual arrival times; and write the answers down. These are the delays.

    Find the average lag time by adding up the delays and dividing the answer by the number of attacks you sent.

    here's a sample test I did:
    Code:
         launch     actual arrival   ideal arrival      delay
    1)  17:06:40    17:19:25.242     17:19:22.553    00:00:02.689
    2)  17:07:40    17:20:25.253     17:20:22.553    00:00:02.700
    3)  17:08:40    17:21:25.121     17:21:22.553    00:00:02.568
    4)  17:09:40    17:22:25.367     17:22:22.553    00:00:02.814
    5)  17:10:40    17:23:25.343     17:23:22.553    00:00:02.790
    
    average lag: 00:00:02.7122
    variance:    00:00:00.246
    If the difference between the highest delay and the lowest delay is higher than the time frame you want your troops to arrive within, then good luck :icon_neutral:

    The time you want to actually send your troops is:
    (arrival time) - (duration + average lag)

    Actually clicking at the right time is entirely up to you and your sense of time (unless you're cheating).

    I mentally split each second into fifths; any more than that and I tend to lose consistency with my mental counting.


    When Troops Return from an Attack
    To figure out when troops return to a village after attacking, you need to know:
    1) the arrival time of the attack
    2) the duration

    Add the duration to the arrival time, and ignore the milliseconds. The game truncates them, so an expected returning time of 3:13:37.999 results in an actual returning time of 3:13:37.000.

    Predicting Attacks
    You can predict what an incomming attack might be by figuring out its speed. Divide the remaining time by the distance, and compare your answer to the speeds of each unit. If you check the attack soon enough after it was sent, you'll know if it's moving too fast to have certain units.



    -------------------------------------end-------------------------------------

    Well, I hope this is helpful. If I made a mistake somewhere, please point it out. If you think I left something out that belongs in the scope of this guide, speak up! And yes, I know there are numerous online tools available that can do some calculations for you. That's not what this guide is about.

    Thanks to the following people for improving this guide :)
    Qwe4rty - pointed out that milliseconds are now truncated for returns
    dondonna - pointed out my lack of transcribing abilities
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  2. dormady

    dormady Well-Known Member

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    I just use the pop up box that you can turn on when you have premium. I like math, and the Pythagorean theorem in particular, but wow Cheesey.
     
  3. Narsis

    Narsis Non-stop Poster

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    i knew everything in that guide and have used it.

    however for those that haven't heard this stuf or don't know how to do it this makes a great guide.
     
  4. burns

    burns Non-stop Poster

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    I knew this stuff, but it's great to see someone put in the effort and articulate his point so clearly (as you have :)).

    Good stuff (I skimmed it, but great job!)
     
  5. penltkiller

    penltkiller Contributing Poster

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    :eek:

    Very useful :).
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  6. orioncypher

    orioncypher New Member

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    Well done...
    I figure my computer lag is roughly consistent when I've minimized the overhead like you mentioned. So using the 'departure' time on my game clock as a reference for each attack launch hopefully cancels out the lag between them.

    I guess lag as you've elaborated is good to know when coordinating attacks w/multiple players...
     
  7. royalgamer

    royalgamer Non-stop Poster

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    nice guide

    liked the drawings!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  8. sacredfool

    sacredfool Part of the Furniture

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    Nice guide but I will still use TWStats or TW++ for planning as I am simply too lazy! :icon_biggrin:

    PS: Do not read the forums trying to time something, you might lose your sense of time this way.
     
  9. qwe4rty

    qwe4rty Contributing Poster

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    I actually have a correction to make to this.

    When troops return back from an attack, the milliseconds are rounded down every time to 000.

    So for example, if you would expect the troops to return at 08:10:11:900 based on math, you'd find that they actually return at 08:10:11:000.
     
  10. cheesasaurus

    cheesasaurus Still Going Strong

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    Well darn. When did that change happen?

    Is it the same for all returns, or just returning attacks? Looks like team accounts get another big advantage :icon_sad:
     
  11. -The Agent-

    -The Agent- Member

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  12. Avaarez

    Avaarez Well-Known Member

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    Is there a way to chamge the colour of my millisecond counter?.... its is a very pale biege that is difficult to see against white unless highlighted, (which means you can't do anything else with the cursor
     
  13. Nashy19

    Nashy19 Non-stop Poster

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    You don't need to keep it highlighted, if you really are that forgetful I suppose you could copy it and paste it later... but what if you forget how to paste?
     
  14. Avaarez

    Avaarez Well-Known Member

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    I mean it's difficult to see in it's normal colour.... in fact it's so difficult to see, I never knew it was there till I read this article. If there was a way of changing it's colour, for example, to black.... I wouldn't need to highlight it to see it.

    Maybe this is one for the game coders.
     
  15. servy

    servy All Over the Board

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    The problem is that it would confuse too many people that don't know/care about milliseconds.
     
  16. pimpometer

    pimpometer Contributing Poster

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    Another correction would have to be to the attacker's troops that survive.

    If an attack consists of AX/LC with no rams (speaking bout early world, no rams yet) and the ax all die from a heavy sword defense, the returning LC would arrive at the speed of LC, not at the speed of the original attack.
     
  17. Woodlandapple

    Woodlandapple Contributing Poster

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    Wrong. It takes the same amount of time both ways regardless of what units live/die.

    Maybe they carry back the dead? :icon_surprised:
     
  18. lippa

    lippa Contributing Poster

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    Anyone know why we cant see the milliseconds on W1 or W2? ? :/
     
  19. dondonna

    dondonna Non-stop Poster

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    I don`t think there are milliseconds for the duration between 2 villages, are you sure about this ?
     
  20. pimpometer

    pimpometer Contributing Poster

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    No it doesn't. I've tried it multiple times.